FERC issues environmental review of 6.5-MW Alaska hydro project

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects has reviewed Copper Valley Electric Association’s application for an original license to construct the Allison Creek Hydroelectric Project in Alaska.

The proposed 6.5-MW project would be located on Allison Creek near Valdez, Alaska. The project would not occupy any federal lands.

FERC staff prepared a final environmental assessment (EA), released June 21 for comment, which analyzes the potential environmental effects of licensing the project, and concludes that licensing the project, with appropriate environmental protective measures, would not constitute a major federal action that would significantly affect the quality of the human environment.

In August 2011, Copper Valley filed an application for an original license on this project. Copper Valley proposes to construct:

  • a 16-foot-high, 130-foot-wide diversion structure with a spillway located 10,000 feet upstream of the mouth of Allison Creek and 2,350 feet downstream from the outlet of Allison Lake;
  • an intake at the spillway conveying flows to the powerhouse via a 42-inch-diameter steel penstock buried for about 500 feet and above-ground for about 7,200 feet traversing the existing grade;
  • a 65-foot-wide, 65-foot-long, 48-foot-high powerhouse containing two Pelton-type, horizontal access turbine/generator units with a total installed capacity of 6.5 MW;
  • a 120-foot-long tailrace extending from the west side of the powerhouse to Allison Creek via a concrete channel and the existing creek bed;
  • a transformer located in a switchyard adjacent to the parking area; and
  • a 3.8-mile-long, 34.5-kV transmission line interconnecting to an existing substation.

The estimated annual generation output for the project is 23,300 megawatt-hours.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.